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Old May 25th, 2010, 08:14 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Newton, NJ
Posts: 4
Gear purchase for documentary

I am shooting a documentary at some point this year (waiting on funding).

I will be in locations that have zero resources for buying any kind of equipment. Top priority would be an efficient way to store 100's of hours of footage that will not cost "too much money". I am also looking for the best possible quality for the money. My budget at the moment is $7500-8,500 for cam, lights, and sound

I am split between:

Panasonic HVX P2 system, which bothers me due to the absurd cost of the P2 media. And we all know what happened to Pani with the DVCpro tapes... so this whole thing bothers me

Would rather go with Panasonic HMC150 and shoot to SD cards, but i get mixed reviews about low light performance on this model vs. the P2

And lastly, I am fascinated with the Canon 5Dii quality over anything in this price range right now. It is also attractive because i already own a 23-105 L kit lens and 70-200 L, and 50 1.4 lenses for my old 20D. I have never shot on an SLR, and i am used to shoulder mount or prosumer sized cameras. Not sure how this would work for a docu situation.

I also wanted peoples opinions on off loading footage to a cheap netbook onto a large HD, i have a 17in apple pro but really dont feel like lugging a full sized 3,000 dollar laptop around with me. Another option was the Nexto DI Nexto Video Storage Device (320GB) devise, again never used it....anyone ever seen this thing in action? Other suggestions for work flows for archiving footage?

Other equipment i'm looking at:

Manfrotto 503HDV w/ 351MVB2K legs

Lowel DP Core 98 Kit -- Looking for suggestions on the lightest quality lighting kit that i could get, this is HEAVY!

Rode NTG-2 on boom/ and a wireless lav system (not sure what yet)

Not sure if I should break each piece of equipment down into different sections of the forum for suggestion, but i will stat here...
Brian Angelini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 25th, 2010, 08:48 AM   #2
Major Player
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: El Cerrito, CA
Posts: 266
Hi Brian,

FWIW, here's my two cents
(I usually shoot longer and shorter docs and reports
for Swiss Public TV & need to take my gear on planes quite frequently):
- I personally still trust good old tape and use an XH-A1;
- tripod: owned a Manfrotto 503 and sold it (too heavy, didn't like the head);
replaced it with a Libec LS-22: lightweight, small (fits into my Stormcase
after disassembling the head) and good quality for the money; added a cheap but decent Libec LANC remote;
- lights: this is what I travel with: (again: cheap & lightweight; never needed more);
- wired mics: AT875R on camera, Rode NTG-2 (w/ zeppelin) on boom, a pair of lavs
(Countryman EMW, PSC Millimic);
- wireless: Sennheiser G3 combo (Sennheiser | Evolution G3 100 Series - Wireless | EW100ENGG3-G
- one useful extra piece of equipment: Spiderbrace shoulder support
w/ Manfrotto LANC remote (

Hope this helps

All the best and good luck

__________________ (in Italian)
Vasco Dones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 26th, 2010, 01:46 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Newton, NJ
Posts: 4
thanks- very good info. I am used to shooting in comfortable situation in studios and easy to access locations by car, so anything lighter for travel is a great idea.
Brian Angelini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 26th, 2010, 02:42 PM   #4
Major Player
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Terre Haute, IN
Posts: 277
Vasco makes a great point... Tape is reliable & cheap.

But if you do go with a flash based cam (SD cards), then you can use a netbook to transfer data to an external drive with no problem whatsoever. I do it all the time with mine.

I would avoid P2 at all costs, especially in the situation you describe. The cards are expensive, they don't hold much data, and they don't exactly fit in the card reader on a netbook...
Bryan Cantwell is offline   Reply

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